December 19th

Hi All,

Before I start the weather I’d just like to take this opportunity on my last post before Christmas to wish you all a happy and relaxing one, with a stress-free break from work. Certainly from the way the weather looks there won’t be too many issues for the Christmas period.

From the graphic above you can see why Paddy Power’s going to be keeping my White Christmas bets this year :(. This time last year we had heavy snow, penetrating frosts and for the naturalist, lot’s of Waxwings, a pretty winter migrant bird from Russia and Scandinavia that comes over most winters to feast on our berry crop. This year we have had very few Waxwings so far because they like to hitch a lift on an easterly wind to get over and we haven’t had an easterly air flow for months :(.

By the way, thanks for all your rainfall stats, keep them coming, I’ll try to put them together over the Christmas break.

General Weather Situation

As has been the case for the last 3 months, we have a protective high pressure sitting down in the Bay of Biscay and just like it has done all winter so far, it is preventing cold weather from intruding south. If you look to the right of us into continental Europe you can see what happens when the protective high is absent. Cold air is extending all the way down south through Turkey to Cyprus and beyond, so I hope you’re not nipping off there for some winter sun.

So for Monday we have a rain front pushing into Ireland and bringing milder air with it. I can see the change already because last night we were -2°C at midnight with clear skies, but now it’s +2°C with cloud cover. This rain will progress into S.W.England, Wales and Scotland by late morning, falling as snow where it meets the colder air, particularly over central Scotland. By lunchtime that rain is pretty much countrywide and it won’t be until early evening before it clears the South-East of England.

Tuesday is a quieter day, feeling a little milder with no frost, so an ideal spray day in my books. Later on in the day a fresh band of rain pushes into Connacht and Munster and progresses easterly into Wales, the North-West of England and the South-West for early Wednesday morning, but amounts lighten as it moves eastwards, so only light showers in other areas. It’ll feel significantly milder from Wednesday which after the early rain dissipates, will be a dry day for most, except Scotland where those showers may linger. With the milder air, the winds will pick up from the west from mid-week onwards and these winds will push another rain front through at the end of the week, so Friday starts wet for Ireland, but it’ll soon dry up and these showers will push into Wales, Western England on Friday morning, before dying out as they move south-easterly.

Outlook

Temperatures will drop back at the end of the week as a weak low pushes the wind more north-westerly, so it’ll feel a good bit chillier for Christmas Eve, with a brisk wind. For Christmas day it’ll be cool, breezy from the west, but largely dry, with only light rain showers confined to the north and Scotland. For Boxing Day, the weather looks pretty similar, but by mid-week, next week, those winds will drop, so I reckon this could bring back some risk of frost and fog patches to boot for a short while. Looking further ahead than this is tricky, but my hunch is remaining mild and wet into the New Year with a predominantly westerly wind stream.

Agronomics

Just like last week, the focus point is applying any pre-Christmas tonics / preventatives and thankfully it looks like we have some good spray days this week once the rain has moved. The wind will be a slight problem, but most of you have covered booms I guess, so no issue there. For Ireland and the west, the spray days will be a little later into the week because of the rain, but I’d hope you’d be ok by Wednesday.

Plenty of grub activity around at present, with Bibionid species doing the rounds due to the milder winter so far. These insects are the larvae of Fever Fly, St Mark’s Fly and live right in the surface of the organic matter and so represent an easy target for Corvids (members of the Crow Family), so damage is often caused by the pecking activity, rather than the grubs themselves.

At present there is no label recommendation for this larvae, although I’ve had reports that Chlorpyrifos has been effective when applied for Leatherjackets. The issue here is that these grubs are active right in the surface fibre.

Ok that’s it, I may squeeze a report in next week if the weather looks significantly interesting enough to pull me away from fishing, mountain biking and generally trying to work off that Christmas lard 🙂 but we’ll see.

All the best.

Mark Hunt

 

3 thoughts on “December 19th

  1. David Dollimore

    Hi Mark

    Rainfall for West Coast of Ireland in very wet Oughterard is as follows: Jan-121.7, Feb-189.5, March-83.2, April-106.8, May-164.8, June-91, July-43, Aug-80.3, Sept-234, Oct-212.6, Nov-263.9, Dec-so far 149.9 this gives us a total of 1747.9mm. I will give the final fig for Dec at end of month.

    As you can tell it’s been a very challenging year!!!!

    Hope all well with you, Happy Christmas,

    Regards

    Dave Dollimore

    Reply
  2. robert@rcook2.orangehome.co.uk

    Hi Mark,

    Rainfall for Camelford in North Cornwall is 1156 mm to date. Jan – 152, Feb – 146, Mar – 45, Apr – 26, May – 48, Jun – 103, Jul – 71, Aug – 84, Sep – 114, Oct – 155, Nov – 96, Dec – 126 and counting.

    Regards Rob Cook

    Reply
  3. david MacIndoe

    Hi Mark,
    I Have been plagued with the Bibionid fly grub and have been for years since gamm-col went of the maket. In my experience Chlorpyrifos does not touch the grub and I have applied it at heavier doses than recommended for leatherjackets.
    Regards
    David

    Reply

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